Back From Emergency Surgery Blogging Break

Well, it has been just about six weeks or so since I've blogged or done anything here with Miracle Makin' Mommy.  About the the time that I did my last post, I had been feeling really sick, and a couple weeks later, on May 10, I ended up having an emergency appendectomy.

I'd actually been feeling sick for much longer, but for the last couple weeks before I went to Urgent Care, it had been coming more acute. I was barely getting anything done.  Now, upon reflection, I wonder if that was part of my inability to get much blogging done during April.

In fact, looking back, I'm thinking that I'd been having appendicitis throughout my pregnancy, that was contributing to the severe sickness I'd felt while pregnant, and that did not go away after the baby was born.  I read that many women develop appendicitis during pregnancy.  In fact, my BFF had both her gall bladder and appendix removed during one of her pregnancies.

Anyway, it finally reached the "acute" pain stage where I could no longer pass it off as pregnancy sickness, post-pregnancy sickness, flu, stomach virus, or anything else. In fact, the night I decided I would finally go in to the doctor the next morning, I was barely able to sleep. As I got dressed to go to the doctor, my pain was becoming so severe that I decided to go to Urgent Care instead, as there was one much closer to my house than my Primary Care Physician's office, and I could get into earlier.

By the time I reached the office, I was barely able to walk in, but still sat and waited in the waiting room...but by the time I got into the examination office, I was running a fever and started convulsing. The doctor was pretty sure it was appendicitis, and had me transferred to the nearest Emergency Room.  Shortly afterward I had a CAT Scan, where it was confirmed, and an hour later I was in surgery. It all happened so fast, I barely knew what was happening.

The good news is that the hospital worked with me to pump and continue nursing Baby Moon, and with just one overnight stay (along with a late night daddy and baby visit to nurse), we had barely a blip in our nursing schedule.

Also, Baba was able to reach my parents while I was in the ER, and they were able to get to my house a few hours later from out of state in order to help with the children.

While they did the appendectomy, they also repaired a couple of hernias -- one larger one near my navel (probably from a previous surgery), and a smaller one on my lower abdomen.  That will probably go a long way to helping me feel better, but it's been somewhat painful the past few weeks with all of those deep tissue stitches in six different locations.

During my recovery period, I spent a few weeks taking pain meds that made me pretty drowsy, so I spent most of my time dozing off. In between naps, I tried to take care of the kids, keeping them fed, bathed and dressed. Well, to some degree anyway.

If I was awake and not taking care of anyone else, I pretty much just kicked back and relaxed and read a few books or played on my phone. It was just too painful and tiring to want to sit up at the computer much, and too uncomfortable to put the "laptop" on my lap!

Anyway, I'm starting to get the house and family back on to something like a normal schedule, although "normal" is ready for a little change with school being out and summer vacation beginning.

Although I still want the kids to be on something of a decent schedule, with plenty of summer activities planned, at least we can relax bed times and wake up times just a bit, and on most days we won't have to rush out of the house too early in the morning, even on the days that we have morning activities scheduled.

So I'm looking forward to getting back to blogging, back to sewing, and working on some new art, craft and home decor projects.  Some of those go hand-in-hand with some of the organizing I want to get done as well (closets, drawers, laundry room, etc).


May Day Fresh Start

May, along with the changing weather, is inspiring me to have a fresh start. On my blog and in my house. I just feel like sweeping away all the dust and freshening everything up.

On my blog, I tried to take part in a 30 day blog challenge, where you had to do a post a day beginning with or inspired by that day's letter of the alphabet.  At first it sounded fun and challenging. Ultimately it felt like work, and stifling. Instead of feeling challenged to be creative in my posts, I felt limited. Stuck trying to come up with ideas to fit the theme, but not really able to blog about the things I wanted to.

I mean, I could have blogged those posts as well...if only I had time. I just didn't have time to blog for both the challenge and myself.

I had hoped to catch up eventually. Instead I started avoiding my blog, it felt like a chore hanging over my head. Just looking at the posts made me feel blah. So on May 1st, I decided to just delete most references to it, and change my post titles. YAY, I feel like my blog is all fresh and clean. Now I've learned my lesson.

In my house, it has probably been more than a year since the whole house has been clean at one time! If you know me personally, you already know it's due to a high risk pregnancy with lots of time at the hospital, and now the first few months of nursing and caring for a newborn.  I try to keep up with the bare minimum sometimes, keeping the public rooms clean, but the rest always looks like hell.

Well, hubby FINALLY went down to the basement that he has been junking up for the past year. Well, almost, but he's getting there. Which means that I can get my part reorganized and cleaned up, and have a functioning basement again. And hopefully this summer, use it as my dream "summer kitchen."

I am so ready to get things really dusted and mopped and rearranged. I've given up on the concept of my usual "spring cleaning" (which I normally do 3-4 times a year, usually around holidays), you know, a good deep cleaning where you scrub all the walls and wash windows...I'm beyond that though. Just let every room in the house be uncluttered, organized, dusted, mopped and shined up all at once. That would be great.

If I get there, I can maybe try to worry about other stuff over the course of the summer, here and there. Washing curtains. Organizing closets. Washing windows. Redecorating.

Oh well, we'll see. I've set my deadline for Memorial Day Weekend. Or rather, by about the Thursday before. Then my parents will be here and we plan to...again I'll say FINALLY...do our vow renewal ceremony.

Oh, and then, I guess that means I can get a fresh, new May start to my marriage too :)  Which means I should probably not get annoyed with hubby so easily. Or be a little more patient with his impatience, or something. 


Homemade Laundry Soap Review

Like many other people these days, I have started making my own laundry soap.  I've made it a couple of times now, and am just loving it.  There are recipes and directions available all over the internet, so this post is more a review and my experience with homemade laundry soap rather than focusing on the how-to.

If you'd like to make your own too, just Google it, there are several websites and blogs with recipes and directions posted, I'm not going to link to any particular one.

I first heard about it several years ago on a popular mothering forum, and was tempted to try it then -- it only takes a couple of common ingredients -- but ultimately didn't for a couple of reasons. For one, the directions sounded  just a bit...involved.  Not difficult, really, it seemed fairly simple, but like more than I wanted  to do.

Additionally, I didn't believe that it could really work that well. Sure, it would save money, but I had to wonder what the savings would be in the long run if it didn't really work that well.

The original directions required mixing one solution on the stove top, and another in a five gallon bucket, then combining the two solutions in the bucket, stirring, letting gel overnight, adding more water, mixing, and then filling individual containers. Some recommend using a paint mixer on an electric drill to mix it. Many people choose to just store the liquid laundry soap in the 5 gallon bucket and scooping out portions, but getting the bucket down to the basement after making the soap didn't sound appealing.

Of course, this method is to make a liquid version -- you can just mix the dry ingredients and make it powdered instead, which is quick to make and store, but one caveat is that it doesn't dissolve as easily in cold water wash.

As for how well it worked, several reported that it worked well, but there just weren't enough reviews to satisfy me, I guess.

Fast forward a few years, and now it seems that people all over the blogosphere -- as well as some frugal forums and mom forums -- are now making their own laundry soap too. With the gain in popularity, there are now several bloggers who have done tests on how well it works and posted pictures.  In addition, I've been able to read hundreds and hundreds of comments and reviews.  The result is that reports show that the cleaning power of homemade laundry soap rivals that of Tide, one of the most expensive laundry detergents available.

I am now on my second batch and am happy to report that it works excellent for me. In fact, step-by-step my clothes seem to be getting cleaner with each wash, as for years I've used a number low cost laundry detergents. 

I'm also getting more stains out the past couple of washes, because I discovered the idea of using it as a stain remover as well. I've had many stained clothes, especially the children's clothes, as I'm often out of commercial stain remover such as Shout. I've tried a couple of recipes to make my own stain removers without much luck.

Well, I had read where several people used the Fels-Naptha laundry soap bar as a stain remover stick by simply wetting it and rubbing it on the stain. Well, Fels-Naptha is the laundry soap that I used in this recipe, so it finally occurred to me to just pour some on the stains and rub it in. IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM  on some very severe stains, including some unknown greasy, oily black gunk from the back of Baba's pick-up truck that Miss Sunshine had gotten all over a pair of her pants.

Now I'm almost anxious to get back to doing laundry after vacation, so that I can try to get more stains out of clothes.  This also makes my stain remover much cheaper. 

The ingredients for the laundry soap are 20 Mule Team Borax, Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda), and one bar of laundry soap. The soap that is easiest to find and is used most often is Fels-Naptha, but you can also use Zote, Lirio, Octagon and others. Some people also use Ivory or Dial soap.

I now use this method at One Good Thing By Jilly. You just make one simple solution and pour it right into containers. It's easier than making macaroni and cheese from a box.

It does involve grating a bar of soap, which seems to put some people off, but using a hand grater it takes me under three minutes to completely grate one bar.

The liquid version is a bit like a runny gel, and will thicken up in between uses. Just give it a shake before using.

The recipe I used is cited as making both 3 gallons and 5 gallons on different sites.  I go somewhere in the middle making about four gallons (actually 3.75), filling up old detergent bottles. I have one bottle that's a bit smaller that I send home with my brother-in-law.

I make a 4 gallon batch for less than $3.00.  Even buying less expensive detergents such as Arm and Hammer would cost about $25.00 at Walmart. An equal amount of Tide would cost about $57.00.  All for under $3.00, which is extremely awesome.

Fels-Naptha is now owned by Dial Corporation, and unlike in the olden days, it no longer contains any solvents or petrochemicals. Although it has a very strong scent, the ingredients are are all quite safe, some of which are ev7en food additives. It has a kind of citronella, citrusy, strong industrial smell that I love. It reminds me of the soap that my grandfather used to get the oil and grease off of his hands after working on farm equipment when I was a child. In fact, I think that may even have been Octagon.

Octagon is an old-fashioned laundry soap that I've only found online so far, but if I ever come across it, I'm definitely going to try it.  Zote comes in pink and white, and is sometimes found in Walmart but is available in most Latin American markets. Lirio is also found in Latin American markets in white. The original Lirio was gold, but it contained phosphates and is no longer available.

There are also a couple of Italian brands available in Italian markets that get good reviews. I have a feeling that there may be an equivalent in most ethnic markets.

Some other popular choices are Kirk's Castille soap bar and Ivory soap.

I'd like to try the Zote next, because lots of people enjoy the citronella scent, and I think it will be fun to have pink laundry soap. It is also highly recommend as a stain remover,especially on baby stains.


My Chrome Theme - My Favorite New Chrome Extension

I have just found a couple of new Google Chrome extensions that I am absolutely in love with. The first one is called  "My Chrome Theme", and it's available free in the Chrome Store. This extension makes it super easy to design your own theme in minutes.

I've been using Chrome as my primary browser for the past few years, but was always stuck using only the themes that are available on the Chrome store. There are other sites with themes available, but I've had some problems with those, and I don't always have time to go searching for a new theme as often as I like changing them.

I was often dissatisfied with the choices available, and thought about making my own. The only problem is that directions for making a theme were a bit convulated, and well, just more technical than I wanted them to be. I just didn't feel up to learning so much just to make a Chrome theme.

Sometimes even just searching for new graphics and changing the themes and backgrounds in everything can take a bit of time. Even so, I love changing them for holidays, seasons and special events, and I like to coordinate them, especially with color schemes.

This usually involves changing my computer wallpaper & user icon, my phone wallpaper, my Chrome theme, Yahoo Mail & Gmail themes, and Yahoo home page. Sometimes I change others too, but these are the ones I update regularly.

Well, I was so excited recently to discover an extension that makes it really simple to make your own Chrome theme. I had tried one in the past, but trying to use the extension was almost as difficult as following the Google directions.

Happily,  "My Chrome Theme" makes it easy to design your own theme in minutes:
1. Click on Start Making Theme.
2. Import Your Image (Upload or Webcam)
3. If uploaded, then Adjust Image (Fit, Fill, Tile, Custom)
4. Add Some Color (New Tab, Background Tabs, Frame Color). Just   click on color swatches or I'm Feeling Lucky.
5. Click on Create Theme.
6. Install theme if desired or save for later.
Here are some spring themes I made in just a few minutes. Seriously, I made all of five of these in just a few minutes (including the one at the top of the post):

Another fun extension I've been playing with is called Loupe/Shape Your Photos, which is one of many different apps and programs available out there that you can use to make shaped collages from your pictures, but I've been enjoying this one for the ease of use, animations when forming the collages, and the inspiration gallery. Here are a couple of examples from the gallery. I've only played around with it a little bit so far, but it's been fun. I just need a little time to spend being more creative.

Finally, I've add Pixler Editor, which I'm still not sure about, but am trying out as a replacement for the soon-to-be-closed down Picnik:


Spring Break With The Grandparents

Baba, Miss Sunshine, Baby Moon and I have spent the past several days in Ohio with my parents.  We also got to spend a couple of days with my sister, Dr. Smartypants, who I sometimes only see once or twice a year. She is a chiropractor who is no longer in private practice, but is now a college professor. She lives a couple of states away and has a busy schedule, and I'm juggling two little ones and couldn't travel much last year with my high-risk pregnancy, so for either of us to make the six hour drive isn't always easy to do.

On Sunday we all had dinner at Mom & Dad's with my Grandma, Aunt, one Cousin and two of her children.

Monday, we all went for a ride to about three different towns and two counties to see the homes where my parents grew up, as well as a couple that I lived in as a child. We also went to visit my cousin's wife's coffee shop and got some fun beverages. Hot Earl Grey tea for Baba, a Hot Chocolate  Hot "Mocha" for Miss Sunshine, and Iced Mocha for me, a Hot White Chocolate "Peeps" Mocha for Mom, and a Mixed Berry Smoothie for Dad. After that, we visited an old, small cemetery where my grandfather and great grandparents are buried.

Then we went to the Mennonite owned country market/bulk foods store -- which we lovingly refer to as "the Amish store, even though we know full well the owners and employees are Mennonite. Oh well, you often see Amish shopping there too.

Before heading home, we stopped at the park and Miss Sunshine enjoyed a bit of swinging, sliding, and playing on the merry-go-round in the brisk weather.

On Tuesday, Baba and I hit the surplus store and picked up parts for mowers and lawn equipment, and a couple of other random things they had.

Today, we went to Crossroads Original Designs Factory Store in Bucyrus and picked up some candles. I chose a Spring Garden candle for the upstairs, and Baba chose Balsam Fir for the Cowboy Room (aka the basement family room). We picked up a Buttered Maple Syrup scented candle for BIL (Brother-In-Law). I have one, and it smells soooo good, but makes me too hungry!  Mom chose a Lavender & Herb, and I also picked up a half dozen votive candles in different scents I wanted to try out. Thank you Baba!

Tomorrow at some point we're heading back to Michigan so that we'll have the rest of the weekend for Miss Sunshine to finish up her homework, practice for the Kindergarden Spelling Bee, and just sort of get back into sync at home before going back to school on Monday. It also gives Mommy some time to do laundry and buy groceries to get ready for the coming week.

Bunny Cake

AKA "The Packard"

Bunny Cake. Not a Packard.
Since I was a kid, my mom has been making us a Bunny Cake most years for Easter dinner.  Not every single Easter, but more often than not.  At some point in my childhood, someone (most likely my dad) commented that it looked like a Packard. Packards were cars made by the Packard Motor Car Company (later Studebaker-Packard) in Detroit. There were several models over the years, but during the 1940's there were several models that had a rounded roof with an elongated hood, and I think that is the style that he was referring to when making that comment.
Packard Clipper Eight. Not a bunny cake.

As an adult, I've continued the tradition, and have made many Easter Bunny Cakes myself.  Since I spent this year at my mom's, I documented her cake as she made it and put it together.

We usually make this with chocolate cake and buttercream frosting, our family's favorite, and with the coconut for the bunny "fur," it tastes like a traditional chocolate coconut cake.

I've often made it with lemon cake filled with lemon curd and frosted with cream cheese frosting, which is one of Baba's favorites, and also goes nicely with the coconut.

There are also many blogs and bakeries that make it with coconut cake. You can make whatever kind of cake you like.

Many directions that I found on the internet for this type of bunny cake are only made from one round layer, which doesn't go that far for a holiday dinner with several guests.  This version is made with two layers, or a whole cake.

My mom made this bunny cake, and I documented it to show you how she did it.

Bunny Cake
One cake of your choice, either from a mix or from scratch, baked according to directions in round cake pans and cooled.

One batch of homemade frosting of choice, such as buttercream or cream cheese, or two cans of prepared frosting. For this cake, Mom ended up making two batches of buttercream as one wasn't quite enough, but she only used about half of the second batch.

Shredded coconut -- about half a bag or less.

Construction paper in pink or white and pink.

Easter candies to use for eyes and nose -- jelly beans, malted milk eggs, Hershey eggs, etc., plus additional to decorate the edge, if desired.

Frost the bottom, flat side of one cake layer and place the other
layer on top. Put the two flat (bottom) sides together, with the rounded sides facing out. This rounding will give a little bit of shape to the bunny.

Cut the cake into two pieces at the 2/3 point, making one piece 2/3 of the 
cake, and one piece 1/3 of the cake. Cut all the way through both layers.

Cut the smaller, 1/3 portion using the same method. Cut one larger piece 
that is about 2/3 of the portion and one piece that is about 1/3 of the portion.

Take the larger, 2/3 portion and place it onto a serving platter, 
cardboard cake server or cake carrier. Place it on the flat, cut side.

Take the larger 2/3 piece and place it on the front for the 
head. Use a little bit of frosting to act as glue to hold the two 
pieces together. Trim if necessary to make the parts fit.

Do the same with the smaller portion, adding it to the other end of 
the cake for the tail, using frosting to glue it together. You can trim the 
end off of the rounded part of the middle section so the tail will fit.

Trim the rear of the middle part if needed, too.

The whole bunny put together. 
Doesn't look like much at this point.

Crumb coat the cake by adding a thing layer of frosting,
then add a thicker layer of frosting over the whole cake.

Press shredded coconut into the frosting gently 
all over the cake to represent the rabbit fur.

Cut two ears from construction paper -- we just free hand them, no 
special pattern. Cut a few thin strips of construction paper for whiskers.

Push candies into the front of the head for eyes and nose.
Add the construction paper ears and whiskers.

You can also decorate the base of the cake with candies.
Another option is to add shredded coconut that is tinted green.
We've even seen edible grass available at Joann Fabric.

Here is one I made a few years ago, I put a marshmallow on the tail.
I only had white construction paper for the ears and whiskers. 

I used Hershey eggs for the eyes and a pink malted milk 
egg for the nose, as I only had mini-jelly beans that year. 
Just use whatever you have available.

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I Love Dandelions

Dandelions-2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dandelions are my favorite flowers. Much to the consternation of some of my neighbors over the years, I've never used any sort of weed killer or lawn service or anything to get rid of them. I'm going for a more naturalized look, or at least that's what I tell myself.

Every time I see dandelions, I feel my faith in God renewed, because I remember one of my favorite stories about dandelions, which is also one of my favorite stories about my cousin David. When he was about four or five years old and I was a year younger, my Uncle Ken, Aunt Carol, cousin Kenny Allen (as he was called then) and cousin David came to visit us when we lived in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Driving along in the car going sightseeing (the Arch, the caverns, a steamboat ride on the Mississippi in our sailor hats), we passed a field of dandelions.  Upon passing the field, David said, "Wowww, those sure are BEE-YOO-TEE-FULL flowers!" My aunt replied, "Oh Davey, those aren't flowers, those are just weeds." To which David replied, "Well then, God sure must love us to give us such bee-yoo-tee-full weeds!"

Field full of dandelions.
Field full of dandelions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I also love seeing the bright yellow flowers sprinkled across the lawn in the spring, especially when they're accompanied by little purple violets. Every year I say that I'm going to pick a ton of the tiny violets and candy them, but I never do.

Violets (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I was a little girl, we used to take the dandelions and put them under each other's chins and twirl them around. If the yellow of the dandelion reflected on the skin under our chins, it meant that we liked boys. When I got older, I used to make dandelion perfume by placing them in containers of water and letting them steep in the sun, then removing the flowers and giving containers of the "perfume" to everyone I knew. It did not smell good, nor like perfume.

Of course, later in the summer we spent hours chasing the dandelion fluff that had gone to seed, making wishes and blowing them back into the wind.

Dandelion in seed The field is littered with d...
Dandelion in seed The field is littered with dandelions shedding their wind blown seeds. One of many photographs I took to show the process in action, none of which succeeded in illustrating the process. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Though I think the thing that I love best of all about dandelions is the bouquets of them I receive from Miss Sunshine, when she lovingly picks them and presents them to me with a flourish and a heart full of love.

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Middle Eastern Chili Fry

"Chili Fry" is the name for a Middle Eastern/South Asian dish that is very much like a chili without beans, the sort of western American chili that has sauteed chunks of meat simmered in salsa.

This is a quick and simple dish that takes a short time to prepare if the meat is already cut up into chunks (I order it that way at the meat market), but will take a bit more time if you have to dice the meat. Otherwise, it doesn't take long to dice the onions, tomatoes and chilies, then sautee with spices. We often make this for a quick week night meal, served with flat bread and salad. It would also be delicious with tortillas. In parts of the middle east it is also commonly eaten for a late breakfast or brunch type meal.

1 - 2 lbs. "Steak", Cubed (I just order whatever tender cut of beef is on sale)
1-2 Large Onions, Diced
3-4 Large Tomatoes, Diced
1-2 Chilies, Any Type, Diced (Any kind. I usually have serrano, jalapeno or Hungarian on hand)
2-3 T. Cooking Oil
Spices: Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Paprika, Cumin, Chili Powder, Red Pepper
Optional Spices: Allspice, Coriander, Ginger
Optional: Minced Garlic

  • Heat a large skillet or sautee pan with oil. Add the beef cubes and cook until browned, adding spices to taste. 
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Parika, Cumin & Chili Powder are the ones I commonly use. If my chilies aren't very spice, I may add a pinch of red pepper for a little extra heat. Allspice gives a more middle eastern flavor, coriander adds a bit of lemony flavor and ginger also adds a little heat. Use any combination to taste. I just start adding a few sprinkles of this and a pinch of that, then taste the meat. 
  • Cook the meat in a couple of batches if necessary.
  • Remove the meat to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the onions to the pan and cook until they begin to soften.
  • Add the chilies and minced garlic, if using, and sautee a couple more minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook until they are starting to soften and cook down until they start to form a sauce, leaving some tomatoes in chunks.
  • Season the tomatoes with salt & pepper and any of the other desired spices.
  • Return the meat to the pan with the onions and tomatoes and heat through.
1. You can make this without fresh chilies using just the spices. I often do that if all I have on hand is tomatoes and onions. It's still delicious, I just add a bit of red pepper and ginger along with the chili powder for heat.

2. Ditto for the garlic. If I have fresh garlic AND I have the time or energy to dice it, I'll add it. Having some already minced in a jar is really handy. If not, just use garlic powder.

3. If the tomatoes seem a bit anemic, I add a tablespoon or so of tomato paste to add flavor and depth to the sauce.

4. I haven't tried it, but I think this would be even quicker and easier -- and cheaper in some locations -- to just use canned diced tomatoes. I'm lucky to live in an area with several nice produce markets nearby, and most of them all have big sales on Wednesdays, as well as an Aldi just down the street, so I can usually get tomatoes fairly inexpensively, and we buy lots because Baba will eat them in just about everything. In the summer, we can get them from the garden and farmer's markets. The farmer's markets are more expensive than the produce markets, but they are locally grown. Otherwise, I understand that in some places tomatoes can be pricey and people often buy the fresh only for sandwiches and salads, and wait until garden season.

Brown meat and season as desired.

Sautee onions, tomatoes, chilies & garlic.

Return the meat to the pan and simmer until heated through.


Banana Cream Supreme Pie

I only have one picture of this pie, and it's not a very good one. The fact is that we had already eaten most of it before I thought to do it, but I'm not sure that it would have been a very exciting picture anyway, because I didn't have any lovely garnishes on it or anything. It looked quite plain, but delicious, and it tasted really, really good. this is actually one of my favorite recipes, but for some reason I only think to make it about once a year or so, but I think that's going to change. I plan to make it again soon for a summer barbecue or potluck.

It's creamy, dreamy and super easy to make. Miss Sunshine enjoyed helping, she arranged the bananas over the pudding filling. This recipe is actually the Pampered Chef Banana Cream Supreme Dessert that I've simplified by using a premade graham cracker crust, or, if I decided to make my own, I would still use this method and put it in a pie pan, as I no longer have the springform pan that this is traditionally made in. Plus I'm usually too tired or lazy. Or out of graham crackers. Or whatever, it's easy to grab an inexpensive ready made crust from Dollar General or Aldi (both are delicious, even though not a famous brand name). The recipe is not currently available on their website, but it is posted in several places all over the internet.

Plan ahead, because it needs to chill for several hours before serving, but only takes a few minutes (yes, less than five) to prepare. After chilling,  the bananas will have flavored the pudding nicely.

1 Graham Cracker Crust, Premade (or be energetic and organized and make your own)
1 Package Instant Vanilla Pudding and Pie Filling
1 C. Sour Cream
1/2 C. Cold Milk
1 8 oz. Container Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed (Like Cool Whip)
3 Bananas, Sliced
Finely chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

  • Whisk the sour cream and milk together. 
  • Whisk in the dry pudding mix.
  • Let set a few minutes until no longer grainy and starting to thicken.
  • Fold in the whipped topping.
  • Pour 1/3 of the pudding mixture into the pie crust.
  • Top with 1/2 of the banana slices (1 1/2 bananas).
  • Pour another 1/3 of the pudding mix over the bananas and spread to the edge.
  • Top with the other 1/2 of the banana slices.
  • Add the remaining pudding and spread to the edges.
  • Chill for several hours until firm.
  • Optional -- Garnish with chopped walnuts or pecans.

Use a 12 oz. container of whipped topping and reserve 4 ounces to top the pie with before garnishing with nuts.

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